NO postponement on NEET 2020: SC dismisses petition
New Delhi: Finally putting a stop to all the confusion regarding the conduct of NEET 2020 for this year's MBBS and BDS admissions, the Supreme has held that there will be no postponement of the MBBS entrance exam. The same effect will be applicable for JEE aspirants this year.
The SC bench headed by Honourable Justice Arun Mishra held, "The postponement of the NEET/JEE will put the 'career of students in peril", and hereby dismissed the plea filed by petitioners opposing the conduct of exam on September 13, who had urged the SC to give directions to the Centre to conduct NEET and JEE exams only after normalcy is restored in the country, post the COVID-19 crisis.
The petition was filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava on behalf of 11 students from 11 states across the country who had moved the top court seeking relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The plea mentioned that the NTA decided to conduct NEET offline at 161 centres across India, which are "utterly arbitrary, whimsical and violative of fundamental rights to life of lakhs of the affected students."
The plea filed by advocate Srivastava had also said "While deciding to conduct the aforesaid JEE (Main) April-2020 and NEET UG-2020 exams in September 2020, the respondents (NTA and others) have overlooked that many states have refused to allow conducting of any professional or non-professional exams in their states at this stage and hence the same is likely to cause unimaginable harassment to the petitioners and other similarly situated students."
Meanwhile, in the latest move, parents of four aspirants also moved the Supreme Court urging it to direct that JEE and NEET entrance exams be conducted in September as per the revised schedule released by the NTA on July 3. Petitions stated that there is an "imminent need" to stick to the second revised schedule. Gujarat Parents Association has requested the Supreme Court to let the examination be conducted on the scheduled date. The petition cited that the delay would severely affect the academic calendar and the continuous change in dates causes mental stress to students.
"The admission process is time-bound and the entire admission schedule in a time regulated process. For medical admissions, there is a unique three-tier process involved which must be done in a statutorily regulated time frame," it added, as quoted by IndiaTV News
Now, during the hearing of the matter before the Supreme Court today, the judge noted that there were two petitions. One seeking conduct of JEE and NEET exams and another seeking postponement of these exams.
Making observations in the case, the bench said, "Life should move on even in COVID-19 times. Can we just stop exams? We should move on."
'If exams are not held, won't it be a loss to the country? Students will lose the academic year', Justice Arun Mishra said on the plea seeking deferment of the MBBS entrance exam.
Then Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for NTA, submitted that exams should be conducted, and adequate precautions will be taken. In response, the Advocate Alakh submitted that there is a chance of vaccine coming soon for COVID-19. Even the Prime Minister said about it in his August 15 speech. Not seeking an indefinite postponement of the exam, but a postponement for some time, he stated.
In its decision, the apex court dismisses the petition seeking postponement of NEET 2020, reports TOI. It said,
the postponement of the NEET/JEE will put the 'career of students in peril'.
As quoted by NDTV, Justice Arun Mishra, who headed a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court said:
"Life cannot be stopped. We have to move ahead with all safeguards and all... Are students ready to waste one whole year? Education should be opened up. Covid may continue for a year more. Are you going to wait another year? Do you know what the loss to the country and peril to the students is?."
"Now, the courts are also going to open gradually for physical hearing. We also have these glass panels now," the bench further said, adds ANI
The bench then said that it has taken into the record the submission of Solicitor General that exams will be held with adequate precautions. Says, there is no ground to interfere with a policy decision.